Woman who used media to target Betty Makoni exposed-Let this be a lesson

This man sent a message to editor of a magazine to respond on defamatory article they had published about Betty Makoni.He explains how a GCN infiltrator tried to use media to defame Betty Makoni.I am publishing this article so that every charity in Zimbabwe learns from our experience.Be very careful who you employ in the organisation and do everything possible to stop anyone infiltrating your oeganisation.I thank Gilbert for steps he took to verify falsehoods his paper had published

Please read his correspondence below

From: gilbert munetsi <gilbert.munetsi@zimpapers.co.zw>
Subject: RE: Melaine email address
To: “Betty Makoni” <gcnworldwide@btinternet.com>
Date: Tuesday, 28 July, 2009, 11:51

Pse pass on to Melaine as I’ve failed to cc

Melaine,

My name is Gilbert Munetsi and I am the News Editor of Kwayedza, the weekly newspaper that published the original story about Betty Makoni. The story, published in our … – … issue was written by one of our stringers by the name of Muchaneta Chimuka after she had been misled by a former disgruntled employee of Girl Child Network, Ropafadzo  Mapimhidze. Before joining GCN, Mapimhidze also happens to have worked for the Zimbabwe Newspaper Group (as an Assistant Editor) under whose stable our paper falls and it became evident after investigations that she was using her influence as a former senior employee to make the junior stringer believe her story.

After we had published the story, we had a visit from GCN staff members querrying the credibility of the article which, ethically, was suppossed to carry the other side (Betty’s) but because the writer and her source brought it to us just before the paper went to bed, there had not been time or effort put to reach Betty or GCN for comment (and I have to admit this was gross unprofessionalism on the part of my paper). However, instead of carrying out a retraction, I decided to personally carry out investigations which included physically visiting the schools where GCN is paying fees for the girls, going through the documentation made available for my perusal by GCN management staff and talking to employees as well as Mapimhidze’s lawyer.

That is when I learnt that:

1. Mapimhidze had not been reporting for work and neither was she submitting reports as per her contract (for instance, she only came to work for nine days inside three months). She became disgruntled after being reprimanded for this.

2. All school heads were happy with the support the girls were getting through having their fees paid (I was actually given letters of appreciation from five school heads)

3. Betty never handled GCN money and is not even a signatory

This is when I then did a second story stating the facts as they are on the ground.But two days before, Mapimhidze had literaly translated our first story into English (word for word) which I saw on the internet the intention being to make sure the world – particularly the sponsors of GCN – read and understand the story. This, Melanie, is what actually transpired.

Should you need confirmation of the above information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with my Editor, Mr Happiness Chikwanha, on e-mail address: happiness.chikwanha@zimpapers.co.zw

Sincerely,

Gilbert Munetsi
NEWS EDITOR